Monday, February 20, 2017

What Trump's "Fake News" Rhetoric Means For Someone Trying to Work in News

For many, the beginning of a career is scary but exciting. It's a time where everything you learned in college is really put to the test. But what about when the President of the United States is demonizing the very industry in which you want to build a career?

Any intro-level journalism course will tell you that responsibility of determining the quality of the news falls on both the citizens and the news industry. It is up to the media to provide the most objective and fact-based news possible, and it is up to the people to check facts and stay informed through various news sources.

As CNN host Don Lemon put it, "Fake news is when you put out a story to intentionally deceive someone and you know that it is wrong." This appeared in a recent segment where a commentator tried to claim they were producing "fake news." This kind of rhetoric surrounding the media is problematic because it is reductive and it is reinforcing a false belief that some people hold that all mainstream media is trying to deceive them.

There is nothing wrong with the American people questioning what they are reading. Everyone should maintain a certain level of skepticism, but this industry is not inherently untrustworthy.

As someone trying to break into this industry, I find it concerning that President Trump wants to foster a greater distrust in the news.

Regardless of your political beliefs, citizens have a right to information that is not curated by the government. It is time to take back the narrative and restore trust in the media.

Any credible news source makes an implicit commitment to the American people to provide them with the most accurate information possible. As a member of the media, I know we are supposed to keep an objective, unbiased viewpoint. However, with the integrity of this entire institution being shaken by the leader of the free world, how can we not take a stance right now?

While the president tries to invoke fear of the media in citizens, it is our duty to provide the people of the United States with the hard-hitting facts that our government cannot suppress. We the people will not be subdued. We the people will not be worn down. We the people will not be silenced.

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